If you are getting started with the keto diet, you might have to deal with a rash, and you might not know why. Maybe you have gone through Google searches looking for the symptoms of ketosis, and you start thinking that it is a sign that the diet is not suitable for you — don't be alarmed! What you are seeing is a “keto rash,” and it is one of the side effects people experience when starting the keto diet (although not everyone goes through this). The rash can be embarrassing and annoying for most people, but you don’t have to get stressed about it because it poses no danger. The important thing is that it's treatable and preventable.
Prurigo pigmentosa looks like eczema and dermatitis, and the symptoms can be seen on the back, chest, torso, shoulders, neck, and underarms and are in the form of itchy and raised lesions on the skin. It has a web-like appearance, forming a symmetrical pattern on each side of the body. The keto rash can be brown, red, or light pink (it depends on the stage of the condition). The disease can appear on the extremities and the face in rare cases. Here are six smart ways of treating keto rash.
See Your Doctor
If you have tried home treatments but failed in treating the rash, go and see a doctor. Some medications prescribed by the doctors for treating prurigo pigmentosa are antibiotics doxycycline and minocycline. Dapsone may also heal the condition. But many researchers choose minocycline instead of dapsone because of its more prolonged remission and fewer side effects.
Many studies done have shown that specific types of antibiotics are beneficial when treating a keto rash. Keep in mind that using these medicines is indiscriminately harmful. It has to be the last resort.
Give Your Skin Extra Attention
You need to take good care of your skin. It is even more important for people dealing with inflammatory skin conditions. Put on comfortable clothing that goes with the climate so that you don’t have to sweat a lot. Use AC at home when necessary. Use lukewarm water when taking a shower or bath, and only use gentle cleansers and soaps when cleaning - this is recommended by the National Eczema Association.
The group also recommends getting your skin moisturized, especially when out in the cold wind or hot sun. Take a shower after you have finished exercising or when your sweating has stopped. If you find that the itching is getting worse, consider skipping the exercise for a couple of days and choose weight training workouts that won't make your body sweat a lot.
Be Sure That Food Allergens Are Not Causing The Rash
When there is a drastic change in the diet, there is an increased risk for food allergy. It is why it's a good idea to have a test done to see whether the foods you have introduced to your diet are causing skin problems. One of the best methods to find out whether you are allergic to a type of food is the elimination diet. If you want to do the elimination diet, start by removing food groups from your diet for three to four weeks.
Check the rash and see whether it is still there. If it has disappeared, start adding only one of the food groups and see what will happen in the next one or two weeks. If the rash has not reappeared, then you can move on and add a new food group after one or two weeks. If, after adding a food group, the rash starts to come back, then you have found the food responsible for it. Permanently get rid of the food from your diet.
Start Vitamin And Mineral Supplements
Another cause of the rash could be a deficiency. To rule this out, it is a good idea to have supplements of vitamins and minerals. Some examples of minerals include potassium, sodium, calcium, and magnesium. They are vital for cell function and energy, which is why it is a good idea to have them in your diet; also, try adding omega-3, vitamin A, and vitamin D supplements to your diet. Vitamins are remarkable when it comes to regulating inflammation, and this helps with keto rash because it is an inflammatory response.
There are also bile salts, which are cholic, deoxycholic, lithocholic, and chenodeoxycholic acids. When following a high-fat diet like the ketogenic diet, you need supplements that will help the liver in processing fat correctly, especially since they will be in large amounts. Using bile salts is a smart solution to that. Water is also essential, so always drink enough water. When starting the keto diet, many people tend to lose a lot of liquid, and this leads to increased concentration of acetone in their sweat, and acetone can trigger rashes.
Add Anti-Inflammatory Supplements To Your Diet
Certain supplements can help in fighting inflammatory conditions. Prebiotics, probiotics, fish oil, and vitamin D supplements used in studies have shown that they help in improving symptoms of dermatitis. There was also a review in 2014 that looked at herbal supplementation, and it revealed that the evening primrose oil has a positive effect on people suffering from dermatitis.
If you remove inflammatory food but still not seeing any change, then consider anti-inflammatory supplementation. Studies have shown that there are supplements that can help lessen the symptoms of dermatitis. Some natural therapies used have helped in decreasing symptoms of skin conditions, including prebiotics, probiotics, and fish oil. You should also have high-quality omega-3 fish oil that contains astaxanthin, which is a natural anti-inflammatory.
If these steps don’t work, then you might have to exit ketosis for a day or two because it can help. To get out of ketosis, eat more than 50 grams of carbs daily. If you want to get the benefits of the ketogenic diet, at least for Type 2 diabetes reversal and weight loss, then you can follow a low-carb diet where you will be consuming 50-100 grams of carbohydrates a day and adding intermittent fasting.
If you do this, but the rash is still there, then you might have to start adding carbs back to your diet — the sudden change could have caused it. It is crucial to choose high-quality carbs to your diet. Some good examples include fruits, yams, sweet potatoes, carrots, and fortified whole grains. Different people will have different reactions to the keto diet. It is a good idea to change your diet gradually instead of jumping into it.
Prurigo pigmentosa, commonly know as keto rash, is a rare inflammatory condition affecting the skin. You can identify it by the red and itchy rash that appears around your trunk and neck. This condition can occur to anyone. It is a rare condition, so there is a minimal chance you are going to get it.
So, if you are starting to get into the ketogenic diet and noticed the development of rashes and have gone into a search mode looking for the symptoms of ketosis and thinking that keto diet might not be the best option for you, don't panic. This condition is not dangerous, although people tend to be embarrassed about it. Use the above options to treat your keto rash. If you try it and if it doesn’t work, consider seeing a doctor.